Upgrade speakers or AV receiver first?



Audioholic Intern
Do you think Ascend or SVS make their own speakers?
That is not the way it is done these days! Ascend and (I was corrected, Ascend may source their cabinets from China, but speakers are assembled in the US!) SVS design their own speakers, but then they contract with an "external" facility in China to build these designs. SVS or Ascend may travel there once in a blue moon to do some QC checks, but more likely, they just pick a few products out of each shipment that arrives to verify that quality has not drifted, and it is up to the manufacturing facility to maintain acceptable quality standards (as specified in the contract) on a day to day basis.
A large company like Sony probably manufacturers in their own facility (a production plant dedicated exclusively to Sony products) because they have enough volume and variety of products to justify a corporate production facility. So, if that is your criteria for quality, Sony is the winner!

Let's make some distinctions here:
Monoprice is a distributor of (primarily) audio gear, perhaps best known for inexpensive (but capable) cables and wires for connecting audio. In a world where BestBuy will sell you an AVR at a good price and then "get you" with overpriced Monster Cable interconnects, that is not a bad thing, however Monoprice was not known for especially high quality!

Enter Monoprice's Monolith line of products! - These are high quality products which have been outsourced from well respected manufacturers. Most importantly, they tend to offer these products at prices below what other companies are selling the equivalent product for.

It would be a mistake to write these products off as unworthy simply because they are being distributed by another company!
Probably the most impressive example of this is the Monoprice sells Monolith amplifiers that are designed and made in the USA by well established amp builder ATI who builds amps for high-end companies like Mark Levinson, Lexicon, JBL Synthesis, Cary Audio, Theta Digital, and B+K . The Monolith represents a value that cannot be beat for a very well designed strong (200W/300W into 8ohm/4ohm) amplifier at a reasonable price!

I have not heard their speakers, but Claridy is, indeed, a respected designer of speakers. More to the point, ShadyJ has measured and reviewed some of the Monolith speakers for official Audioholics reviews and they have proven to be great speakers for the price.
At 50% off, I still think the JBL's represent a better value (and the 570 should be about the same size as your Sony towers).

Last, I do not believe the Sony deserves to be so readily discounted as an inferior speaker! The Sony Core series was designed as a response to Andrew Jones' Pioneer budget speakers! Just as Gene recommends them, if you are restricted to MSRP, these Sony's are great speakers and (to my ear) are enough better than Jones' design to justify the added cost. On occasions when the Sonys are discounted, they represent incredible value (I paid $108 for my pair of Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speakers on 11/21/16 via Amazon and cannot think any new speaker that has ever been better at that price (aside from "the Great DCM TimePiece Clearance" being discounted for ~$80/pr that ran a couple of years ago)!
I’ll check out the Monoprice again before writing them off and the JBLs as well.
i paid $98 for each tower in November 2019 & $73 for the center off of Amazon. So I paid half of wish they sell for today. Same thing with my Sony receiver. Best Buy seems it for $279 & I paid $100 less during Black Friday.
I just watched a episode of The Haunting on Netflix & I increased the trim on the center 2db, crossed the center over at 100 MHz and added +2 treble & I took the grills off and out sounded pretty good.


Audioholic Intern
I just learned how speakers are measured (from the hole alignment) and even my 5.25" Sony speakers are tiny if you measure the actual width of the cone which is 4". Going up a little bit in size is beginning to sound better.
I'm currently looking into these. Not pulling the trigger yet. I'm just doing my research.
SVS Prime Bookshelf Surround System $1049.99
Prime Tower Surround System $1549.99
William Lemmerhirt

William Lemmerhirt

Audioholic Spartan
True, but it offers insight into the output power needed when typical listening levels are known.
Absolutely. My point was to another post where in was indicated that higher sensitivity speakers sound better. I’m not saying they can’t, just that it’s not a rule.

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